Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Homeware specialists continuing to flourish

Out-of-town chain Dunelm has posted a 15% rise in half-year profits after continuing its push for a bigger slice of the homewares market.

Dunelm, which began as a Leicester curtain stall in 1979, has been one of the bright spots in a difficult retail market, taking on small and independent competitors with its expanding footprint.

Profits for the six months to December 29 were in line with City expectations at £59.8m, having seen a 13.4% jump in revenues to £340.1m.

Like-for-like sales were 2.2% higher in the half-year but progress will be harder going forward due to tougher comparisons with a year earlier.

Chief executive Nick Wharton said the company's work on improving customer service and its online offering was paying off.

Dunelm has a medium-term target of 200 outlets after the opening of ten new superstores took its estate to 123 stores.